movgrab: An alternative video grabber

I didn’t know there were quite so many command-line video grabber tools out there, until I started pecking away at this hideous little blog.

movgrab is another command-line tool that will pluck Flash videos or other formats from the ether, and unlike some others (ahem, youtube-dl), it’s written in C.


The challenge, as it appears to me, would be keeping up with all the idiosyncratic changes in sites that might otherwise kill a content-grabber like this (ahem, dailystrips).

But movgrab seems to be keeping apace with all the different sites it follows. And it has a few tweaks that I like.

For one thing, youtube-dl (just to pick on the competition) picks file formats by code number for sites like YouTube. That’s fine, but you have to check the format before you know the number. As far as I know, get-flash-videos doesn’t offer different formats.

movgrab uses the name of the format as the flag. So if you know you want a certain kind, you just type “mp4” or whatever in the command. Much easier.

On the other hand, movgrab doesn’t seem to continue broken downloads, and youtube-dl will. I’m sure there are other differences.

It’s fun to watch though. I know youtube-dl gets a lot of updates and movgrab doesn’t seem to have grown much since 2012, but I’m not picky, I’ll use both. 😉